UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was supposed to meet with Donald Trump at the White House next month, but Johnson has backed out of that meeting. White House insiders speculate that Johnson canceled the meeting because Trump hung up on him in a fit of rage during a phone call late last month.
Johnson was originally supposed to visit the U.S. last month but kept delaying the trip due to disagreements he was having with Trump over Iran, Huawei, and a rejected request by the prime minister to extradite the wife of a US diplomat who hit and killed a British teen with her car.
The mounting issues between the two men escalated during a phone call in late January. Those with knowledge of the phone call state that Trump hung up on him in a fit of rage.
Johnson has now canceled the trip completely. He will not visit the U.S. until June to attend the G7 Summit.
Officials from Downing Street state that the trip was canceled because Johnson feared things would only escalate further with Trump.
On Thursday, Downing Street shared that Johnson uses the time to concentrate on his domestic agenda.
“When the Eye of Sauron is off the Whitehall machine, things stop working,” one source told The Sun. “That is why he has stripped down all his foreign travel this year to get his agenda done.”
Prior to their recent conflicts, Johnson had been one of the few close foreign allies that Trump had. Trump has called Johnson “fantastic,” “a good man,” and “Britain Trump.” However, their relationship quickly broke down over the past few weeks.
The phone call between them last month has been described as “very difficult.” The call came after Johnson defied Trump and allowed the Chinese telecom company Huawei the rights to develop a 5G network in the UK.
Trump made threats in relation to Huawei, which “irritated” the government in the UK. Johnson was extremely frustrated by Trump’s failure to suggest any type of alternative.
After Trump’s rage during the phone call became public, Vice President Mike Pence told the media that the Trump administration had made it “very clear” they were disappointed in the UK.